In order to explore the effects of grazing frequency on functional traits and to test whether Stipa gandis has compensatory photosynthesis during the frequent grazing period, we investigated morphological traits, biomass allocation, photosynthetic traits, and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters of the species in Inner Mongolia, China. The grazing frequency treatments included fencing (T0), grazing in May and July (T1, i.e., two months per year) and grazing from May to September (T2, i.e., continuous five months per year). Results indicate that T1 and T2 treatments did not affect individual biomass, but T2 treatment negatively affected individual size, i.e., plant height, stem length, and leaf length. Physiological traits of S. grandis were significantly affected by grazing, year, and their interaction. In July 2014 (i.e., dry environment and low relative humidity), the photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate and water use efficiency were highest under T2 treatment, which was caused by the increase in stomatal conductance. However, in July 2015 (i.e., wet environment and high relative humidity), the photosynthetic rate and water use efficiency were higher under T1 and T2 treatments, which were caused by the increase in actual quantum efficiency and stomatal conductance. Our results implied that under frequent grazing treatment, S. grandis had small height and efficient compensatory photosynthesis, which promoted its resistance to severe grazing.
|The main purpose of this study was to explore the dynamic changes of greenhouse gas (GHG) from grasslands under different degradation levels during the growing seasons of Inner Mongolia, China. Grassland degradation is associated with the dynamics of GHG fluxes, e.g., CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes. As one of the global ecological environmental problems, grassland degradation has changed the vegetation productivity as well as the accumulation and decomposition rates of soil organic matter and thus will influence the carbon and nitrogen cycles of ecosystems, which will affect the GHG fluxes between grassland ecosystems and the atmosphere. Therefore, it is necessary to explore how the exchanges of CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes between soil and atmosphere are influenced by the grassland degradation. We measured the fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O in lightly degraded, moderately degraded and severely degraded grasslands in Inner Mongolia of China during the growing seasons from July to September in 2013 and 2014. The typical semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia plays a role as the source of atmospheric CO2 and N2O and the sink for CH4. Compared with CO2 fluxes, N2O and CH4 fluxes were relatively low. The exchange of CO2, N2O and CH4 fluxes between the grassland soil and the atmosphere may exclusively depend on the net exchange rate of CO2 in semi-arid grasslands. The greenhouse gases showed a clear seasonal pattern, with the CO2 fluxes of –33.63–386.36 mg/(m?h), CH4 uptake fluxes of 0.113–0.023 mg/(m?h) and N2O fluxes of –1.68–19.90 ?g/(m?h). Grassland degradation significantly influenced CH4 uptake but had no significant influence on CO2 and N2O emissions. Soil moisture and temperature were positively correlated with CO2 emissions but had no significant effect on N2O fluxes. Soil moisture may be the primary driving factor for CH4 uptake. The research results can be in help to better understand the impact of grassland degradation on the ecological environment.|
|We carry out a systematical study of the spectral lag properties of 50 single-pulsed Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) detected by Fermi/GBM. By dividing the light curves into multiple consecutive energy channels we provide a new measurement of the spectral lag which is independent on energy channel selections. We perform a detailed statistical study of our new measurements. We find two similar power-law energy dependencies of both the pulse arrival time and pulse width. Our new results on the power-law indices would favor the relativistic geometric effects for the origin of spectral lag. However, a complete theoretical framework that can fully account for the diverse energy dependencies of both arrival time and pulse width revealed in this work is still missing. We also study the spectral evolution behaviors of the GRB pulses. We find that the GRB pulse with negligible spectral lag would usually have a shorter pulse duration and would appear to have a ``hardness-intensity tracking'' (HIT) behavior and the GRB pulse with a significant spectral lag would usually have a longer pulse duration and would appear to have a ``hard-to-soft'' (HTS) behavior.|
|The phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT) pathway has been identified as an important pathway in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). We have reported a nonsense mutation in PIK3R1, which encodes the regulatory subunit of PI3K, in a metastatic RCC (mRCC), while the mutation was absent in the corresponding primary RCC (pRCC). To identify the function of PIK3R1 in RCC, we examined its expression in normal kidney, pRCC and mRCC by immunohistochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction. The expression of PIK3R1 significantly decreased in pRCC and was further reduced in mRCC compared with normal tissue. Besides, its expression levels were negatively correlated with T-category of tumor stage. Additionally, 786-O and A-704 cells with PIK3R1 depletion introduced by CRISPR/Cas9 system displayed enhanced proliferation, migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and acquired a stem-like phenotype. Moreover, the PIK3R1 depletion promoted the phosphorylation of AKT in the cells. The knockdown of AKT by shRNA reduced p-GSK3 beta and CTNNB1 expression in the cells, while the depletion of CTNNB1 impaired stem-like phenotype of the cells. Overall, PIK3R1 down-regulation in RCC promotes propagation, migration, EMT and stem-like phenotype in renal cancer cells through the AKT/GSK3 beta/CTNNB1 pathway, and may contribute to progression and metastasis of RCC.|